2024 Garden Fling, or I went to Tacoma and saw lots of cool gardens

The Garden Fling is an annual meetup of garden communicators – people sharing stories and images about gardening on blogs, Instagram, and other social media channels. This past weekend (July 18-22), almost 100 people from all over the U.S. as well as Canada and the UK gathered in Tacoma, Washington for the 2024 Fling. I’d been to the 2014 Fling in Portland, Oregon and the 2018 Fling in Austin, Texas , but various commitments and conflicts prevented me from going to any since then. However, with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport just a short plane ride away, there was no way I would miss this year’s event. Seeing fantastic gardens is great, but hanging out with so many like-minded souls is just as exciting. Fling homepage I got back late last night and will need some time to go through my photos, but I’m planning a series of posts about the cool gardens I saw, including two bucket list destinations: Heronswood , famed plant hunter Dan Hinkley ’s first garden, and Windcliff , his cu

Cactus seeds and seedlings

Last November, I ordered seeds of 12 different Echinopsis / Trichocereus hybrids from Patrick Noll, a German hybridizer who runs a popular YouTube channel under the name Cactus Jerk . Unlike most growers who sell live plants, Patrick offers seeds of his own hybrids on his website, . While the parents are clearly stated, there’s no sure-fire way of knowing what the flowers of these hybrids will ultimately look like. If you’re interested, check out my August 2023 post to “meet” the parents. I started with approximately 240 seeds and ended up with the 82 seedlings you see below. Some have grown much faster (and larger) than others even though they have all received the same water and fertilizer – genetics at play! My goal is to grow these seedlings on until they flower for the first time. Then I’ll decide which ones to keep. I'm hoping that at least a few of these hybrids will be as beautiful as this one, Echinopsis  'Paul Ehrlich' As if 80+ seedlings weren’

Victims of the heat dome

After 12 days above 100°F out of the last 13, we’ve finally dropped into the 90s. This means that we’re back to more or less normal temperatures for the time being. It’ll be a while yet before we’ll see the full extent of the heat damage, but it’s clear already that not every plant in our garden will make it. Below are some of the victims. On a positive note, it looks like all the plants that I covered with shade cloth are doing OK. I suppose I should invest in more shade cloth before the next heat dome arrives. It’s just a matter of time. The saddest loss first: I planted a fairly large Agave chazaroi in a metal ring a few months ago. It had been in a terracotta pot in the same spot so I thought it would be happy here. And it was, for a while, until the extreme heat arrived. I don’t exactly know what happened, but I assume water from the drip irrigation collected in the center and rot found a way in. Once the center of the rosette is this far gone, there’s no rescuing the plant. ⤥